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What is the Cylinder Head Gasket in a Car?

In the engine device, each part performs a specific function. Regardless of whether it is a connecting rod, piston pin or crankshaft oil seal, a breakdown of the spare part leads to serious consequences.

One of the important elements is the cylinder head gasket – cylinder head. Why is it needed and what threatens its wear and tear? What are the signs that the cylinder head gasket is broken?

car head gasket

Cylinder head gasket: what is it

An internal combustion engine consists of two main parts: a cylinder block and a blockhead. The head closes the combustion chambers, valves and a valve mechanism are mounted in it, and camshafts are also installed in it. From above it is closed by a valve block cover. The cylinder head gasket, as you might guess, is located between the cylinder block and the head.

If the engine is 4-cylinder, then in the gasket we see four large round cutouts, as well as holes for the bolts that secure the head to the block, and under the channels for the circulation of process fluids. Looking to sell your car for cash with head gasket simply give us a call: 021 837 591

The main material for its production is reinforced paronite, and the holes for the combustion chambers have a metal edging. It may be made of thin sheet metal. There are other options: copper, a multilayer composition of metal and elastomer, asbestos-graphite.

Just note that the cylinder head gasket itself is not expensive. Replacement work is much more expensive, since you have to disassemble the engine, and after the replacement, set the timing mechanism and gas distribution. What functions does this gasket perform:

  • sealing of combustion chambers;
  • prevention of gas leakage from the engine;
  • preventing leakage of oil and coolant;
  • prevents coolant and engine oil from mixing.

But since asbestos gaskets are installed on most modern cars, they simply burn out over time, which creates a serious precedent – gases from combustion chambers can enter the cooling circuits, and coolant seeps into the engine.

Why this is dangerous: the oil film is washed off from the walls of the cylinders, their accelerated wear occurs, the power unit does not cool properly, the possibility of piston jamming.

How to understand that the cylinder head gasket is broken?

If the cylinder head gasket requires replacement, you will quickly find out about it by a number of characteristic signs. The most obvious of them is the grey smoke from the exhaust pipe, similar to steam. This means that antifreeze or antifreeze is actively seeping into the block. Other characteristic symptoms of a broken cylinder head gasket:

  • engine overheating;
  • gases get into the cooling jacket, while in the expansion tank the antifreeze starts to seethe;
  • problems starting the engine – due to a burnt gasket, gases from one chamber enter another;
  • oily streaks at the junction of the cylinder head and cylinder block.


It is possible to notice that the oil is mixed with antifreeze when checking the level – traces of white foam will be visible on the dipstick. Oil stains are visible in the coolant reservoir with the naked eye. If antifreeze and grease are mixed, you will have to change the gasket, flush the engine cooling system, change the oil.


If you notice at least one of the above symptoms, it is necessary to replace the cylinder head gasket. It is better to order the service at professional service stations, where the necessary tools are available. The process of removing the “head” is quite complicated since you will need to disconnect the mass of sensors, attachments, timing belt or timing chain. In addition, the cylinder head bolts are tightened with a torque wrench.

There are special schemes on how to properly unscrew and tighten them. For example, to dismantle the head, you need to rotate all the bolts one at a time, starting from the middle, one at a time to relieve tension.


The engine is what matters the most in any given car and without it, there would be no point worrying about the other parts. If you have an old car that has a dead engine and you can’t sell it, do not worry because we will pay cash for it today – Kiwi Cash For Cars will assess your vehicle and make sure you are paid the best cash for it. Swift Cash For Cars in Brisbane- pays cash for junk cars, old cars and unwanted cars. Regardless of the model or the make of the car, we will offer you a fair price.

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